Wow, this one was hard work!
This is part 13 of my Describli-prompt inspired story. I didn’t like the original ending so re-wrote it in Scrivener, and then it was too long for Describli’s character count, so I had to edit it down, which annoyed the hell out of me.
So I’m not entirely happy with it, but it’s better than it was.
This was supposed to be the last part, but the characters and story seem to have had other ideas, so part 14 will be here next week. 🙂
Lena swung the chair around, the bridge of the ship passing her by in a haze.
“Can you not do that?” Zinna asked. “It’s a bit irritating.”
“Sorry.” Lena put her feet on the floor, halting her movement, and gripped the arms of the chair against the dizziness that assaulted her. “But I’m bored.”
“I know. But we have to be patient. The scanner’s working, and until it finds the ship, or what’s left of it, there’s nothing we can do.”
Her words hurt. The YSR could have been left in pieces by the blue-lipped woman. Lena needed a distraction while she waited or she would go insane.
“Are you sure we can’t try fixing the controls?” she asked.
“They need a part we don’t have. You said so yourself.”
Lena hung her head back. She was grasping at straws. She couldn’t stand the thought of her poor ship-
The console beeped. Leo sat up straight and hit a few buttons. Images cycled across the screen. “Got it!”
Lena’s eyes widened as she beheld her ship floating in space. In one piece. Even if it did look lifeless.
Zinna marched over to stand beside Leo. “She empty?”
A few more button presses. “She is.”
“Then let’s get over there. There’s still one working transporter.”
Which was good, as this ship’s controls were useless. They could basically drift through space.
Lena stood up. “Then let’s go.” She ached to be back on board, to see what damage had been done inside.
Zinna stopped her as they were leaving the bridge. “About this ship…”
“I know. You want to salvage.” She still felt uncomfortable about the idea. But what else could they do with the ship? It was illegal, if not immoral to leave it drifting.
Zinna regarded her as if she knew what she was thinking.
“We’ll tractor it. Sort out the specifics later.”
She gave a weak smile, then followed Zinna down to the transporter room.
The modified booth was still as they had left it, but next to it, the second one was still intact.
Lena stepped in first. It was her ship. Her responsibility. She took her gun from its holster before Zinna activated the machine. She wanted to be ready.
The familiar wave of disorientation came over her, and then she was standing in the cargo hold of the YSR. It looked like a tornado had ripped through it. The boxes holding their cargo of wine were tipped up. Puddles of the sticky liquid were half-dried up on the floor. She stepped around them, walking as silently as possible.
She compared every part of the room with her last memory of it. Everything was still there, but rearranged.
Halfway across the room, Zinna transported in. Lena turned and caught her eye. Her gun was out as well. Lena waited for her reach her, then said, her voice low, “Northing’s missing here. They’re just ransacked it.”
Zinna nodded her acknowledgement, then they both started across the room again. When they reached the door, Leo transported in. He caught them up as the door slid open, letting in the sound of a man’s groan.
Lena stepped out into the corridor. She wasn’t going to give him chance to fire first.
Her gaze fell on a man laid across the corridor, a dark red stain on his belly. His skin was pale, even in the dim light of the barely-alive ship. The oxygen had kept going. It was the last system to be cut off from the remaining power.
Zinna moved forward first, Lena covering her.
The man looked human. Zinna bent down, her weapon still aimed at him. “He’s one of hers.”
An injured man left behind. Lena felt a little sad for him.
He looked at her through glazed-over eyes. He was her enemy. She should feel nothing for him. Her father would have said she should put her gun to his head and end the problem.
But he was a person. If it was her laid there, or Leo, would she still say the same?
“We need to take him to the infirmary.”
Zinna glared at her over her shoulder. “What?”
“We can’t just leave him. We don’t even know who he is.”
“Look at what he’s wearing, “ she said, standing and pointing down at him with her gun. “He works for her, the woman who tried to kill you!”
“I know! But I can’t just let him die! Would you want that for Leo, or me?”
Zinna glared, unable to answer without contradicting herself. “I hate your conscience sometimes.”
“Then we’re agreed?”
“You’d never forgive me if I did what I think is right.”
Lena didn’t want to say no, so she turned to Leo. He was pale, still recovering from his injuries. This man must have brought back some memories. .”I’m sorry to ask this of you…”
He nodded, stopping her from having to say it. “I’ll help.”
They managed to get the man to their makeshift infirmary – a spare room where they stored the medical supplies.
“And if we heal him, then what?” Zinna asked, standing on one side of the bed.
From the other side, Lena answered, “We take him home.”
This week’s prompt: Taking him home.